IAHA - Animal Husbandry Alliance

IAHA is an informal network of individuals and organizations interested in inspiring, supporting and strengthening the development of organic animal husbandry. It is the animal husbandry 'think tank' of the IFOAM - Organics International Action Group.


The General Assembly of IFOAM - Organics International in Korea in October 2011 recommended that animal husbandry be given more emphasis in IFOAM-Organics International through a worldwide platform to address animal health and welfare, breeding techniques, feeding (e.g. roughage versus concentrates) and related issues.

A group of interested individuals, supported by the IFOAM World Board, then began to organize and, at the end of November 2012, the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Alliance (IAHA) became approved by the IFOAM World Board.


IAHA allows IFOAM Affiliates to share organic animal husbandry knowledge, concerns, positions, and issues and integrate them into the work of IFOAM - Organics International and the organic movement. 

 Its most recent contributions included:
- Offering a platform for researchers, advisors and farmers as well as other interested persons to speak and be heard by organising a Pre-Conference on Animal Husbandry linked to the Organic World Congress.
- Organising a workshop on organic livestock development issues at the OWC.
- Drafting policy recommendations for the organic sector and movement on how to support and develop animal husbandry for the General Assembly of IFOAM.

IAHA would like to become more active in supporting organic livestock producers through increased advocacy and input into IFOAM decision making. We would also like to facilitate learning opportunities at farmer , institution and organisation levels and be in a position to provide recommendations to stakeholders in the organic movement.Want to get involved?

Simply fill out the IAHA-Questionnaire to join the community and receive IAHA's newsletters.


Almost 50 contributions have been selected to be presented at the IAHA Pre-Conference “Organic Animal Husbandry Systems” on 21-22. September 2020 as oral or poster presentation. Two plenary sessions, eight thematic sessions, a poster session, four thematic workshops and an evening visit of a an organic milk farm are planned. More details you can see here.

NEW DEADLINE for papers: Call for Abstracts for IAHA Pre-Conference “Organic Animal Husbandry Systems” on 21-22. September 2020 (linked to the 20th Organic World Congress in Rennes in France). The deadline is extended to end of March 2020 (for Core Organic projects contributions end of April 2020).

The new deadline for submissions of papers (4 pages for oral presentations, 2 pages for poster presentations) is End of March 2020 (* End of April for Core Organic project contributions).
Please use this template for papers submission.

For more information see below:

The Pre-Conference “Organic Animal Husbandry Systems – challenges, performance and potentials” on 21-22. September 2020 linked to the 20th Organic World Congress in Rennes in France will highlight the role of livestock in sustainable agriculture, with an emphasis on growing organic livestock production worldwide. It will focus on the main challenges under different themes, taking into account the diversity of organic and sustainable animal husbandry systems. At this pre-conference we will have an important session for organic animal husbandry, in which we will consider ways to promote the vital importance of meat and livestock in the human diet, in the soil cycle and for planetary health.

Here you find the detailed information brochure of this IAHA Pre-Conferenceon 21-22.September 2020.The deadline for submission of abstracts has passed already, but all interested persons are invited to come. The registration for the Pre-Conference is now open. It must be done when registering for the Organic World Congress 2020 (see reduced tariffs in case of early registration). It is not possible to attend the Pre-Conference without registering for OWC (at least 1 day).You can register for OWC now!

The new deadline for submissions of papers (4 pages for oral presentations, 2 pages for poster presentations) is End of March 2020 (* End of April for Core Organic project contributions) . Please use the template for submiting your abstract.


Farm tours IAHA Preconference France 2020 - Non binding expression of interest

Prior to the IAHA Pre-Conference there are at the moment two Farm tours intended:
'Clermont Ferrand (Auvergne region)' and 'Around Rennes (Brittany)'. These field trips will be organized separately, if there is enough of an interest.

  • Option A – Tour on farms in Auvergne region

Starting on Friday, 18th September 2020, 15km far from Clermont Ferrand, visit of a large organic crop-livestock farm with direct selling, between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
On Saturday, 19th Sept. 2020: Whole day farm tour, starting from Clermont Ferrand - two experimental farms in Massif du Sancy mountains (involved in Mixenable and ProYoungStock Core Organic projects).
On Sunday, 20th of Sept. 2020 leaving Clermont Ferrand by train/bus at nearly 8:00 am to Rennes. If bus (nearly 7 hours travel), a visit can be programmed in an innovative pig farm on the way just before arriving in Rennes (at 3:30 or 4:00 pm). Arrival in Rennes at 6:00 pm.

• Option B – One - day tour on livestock farms and touristic sites in Rennes Region

This tour will only be one day (and not 2 days), visiting in the morning a farm with poultry and in the afternoon a pig farm ca. 80 km away in the South-East from Rennes (jointly visited with the group of Tour A). The farm is participating in an on-farm research programme of project OK-NET EcoFeed. The start will be in the morning in Rennes (ca. at 9.00 am). Participants be back after 6:00 pm in Rennes. More details on this tour (also the costs) can be given end of March 2020. 

The costs of the visits will be charged separately. The price will depend on the number of participants. Once we have a sufficient number of interested persons, details on the tours will be sent, together with a link for final registration.

Fill in the form to register your interest

Latest newsletter of IAHA 2019

October 2019 

In this newsletter you will find the reminder about the deadlines for submitting contributions to both, the Science Forum at the Organic World Congress 2020 in Rennes, France and the IAHA Pre-Conference. There is also more detailed information about the Pre-Conference itself.



IAHA Organic Animal Husbandry Pre-Conference on 6-8 November 2017, Ghaziabad, India

On 7 and 8 November 2017, the pre-conference "Role of livestock in sustainable agriculture" took place as a preconference of the Organic World Congress (9-11 of Nov. 2017) in Dehli, India. More than 80 persons participated.

Co-organiser of this event were the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI), the National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF) in India, the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI under ICAR), the Indian livestock development & ethno-veterinary group ANTHRA and IFOAM - Organics International.

Here you can download:

the proceedings of the Pre-Conference 2017 with more than 40 papers in different thematic sessions 

- the presentations of the key note speakers:

o Prof. Emeritius Donald M. Broom (University of Cambridge, UK): “Sustainability: the role of animal welfare and silvopastoral systems”

o Prof. Raymond Auerbach (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa): “Integrating sustainable and organic animal husbandry with efficient resource use in Africa”.

o Dr. Florian Leiber, (head of the animal research department at FiBL) gave a key note speech on “The sustainability dilemma in livestock feeding”

On 6th November 2017 a workshop on the use of Ayurveda and traditional medicinal plants for animal health was organised by Nitya Ghotge, supported with presentations from: 

- Angela Escosteguy (Brazil) 
- Dr. Marion Johnson (New Zealand)

A presentation on Veterinary Ayurveda – Theories and Practices from Dr Kumar S. K., Dr MNB Nair & Dr Punniamurthy N.  (TransDisciplinary University, India) can be downloaded here.

In this short summary report about the Pre-Conference and the medicinal plants for animal care more photos can be found.

Recommendations for development and research  for organic animal husbandry have been formulated and were discussed during the Pre-Conference and in a separate workshop at the Organic World Congress. 


The IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg

The inaugural meeting of what became the IAHA occurred during the IFOAM Animal Husbandry Conference, September 2012, in Hamburg. At the conference, a questionnaire was distributed to participants

to gather animal husbandry concerns in different parts of the world. See the results of the first IAHA questionnaire.


IAHA organized several activities during the 18th IFOAM Organic World Congress OWC in Istanbul, October 12-15 2014.In the picture: IAHA Board members (from left to right): Chris Atkinson (UK), Mahesh Chander (India), Angela Escosteguy (Brazil), Otto Schmid (Switzerland) and François Labelle (Canada)

IAHA organized an OWC pre-conference on organic animal husbandry and a workshop session, where the focus was on drafting an International Action Plan for the development and strengthening of Organic Animal Husbandry from 2014-2017. The proceedings and outcomes of the IAHA Pre-conference and workshop session at OWC can be downloaded from here: 


The final Position Paper Compatibility of Breeding techniques in Organic Systems has been accepted by the General Assembly of IFOAM in India on 12th of Nov. 2017. Although this is not a paper of IAHA it is of general interest, as the IFOAM position paper deals also with techniques for animal breeding.

Steering group

Otto Schmid ( Switzerland): otto.schmid [at] fibl.org

Angela Escosteguy (Brazil): angela [at] ibembrasil.org

Chris Atkinson (UK): catkinson [at] soilassociation.org

Mahesh Chander (India): mahesh64 [at] email.com

Muazzez Cömert Acar(Turkey): muazzezcomert35 [at] gmail.com

Marion Johnson (New Zealand): marion.johnson [at] actrix.co.nz

François Labelle (Canada): flabelle [at] valacta.com

to contact IAHA

Please use this email for all your enquires regarding the Alliance: iaha [at] ifoam.org (body: iaha%40ifoam.org)

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